2017 Fantasy Hockey Injury Report: November 14
Gabriel Farnesi takes a look around the NHL and gives his take on the top injuries around the league.
Each week of the National Hockey League regular season, we will take a look at some of the most important injuries that have occurred in the last seven days, as well as key players that have returned from injury and updates on the conditions of other fantasy-relevant players (when applicable). Here is this week's batch:
1. Auston Matthews, C, Maple Leafs (upper-body injury, day to day)
The second-year superstar has missed Toronto's last three contests (all wins), but the hope is he will be able to return to action at some point this week. Despite the team's recent success without him, Matthews is too important to the Maple Leafs' cause to be on the sidelines for a long stretch. Toronto management and coaching staff have remained mum about the nature of Matthews' injury, so there is at least a bit of concern here.
2. David Krejci, C, Bruins (returning from a back injury)
The banged-up Bruins, already missing David Backes, Ryan Spooner and Adam McQuaid, will not have either Brad Marchand or Anders Bjork during their current four-game road trip due to undisclosed injuries. The good news, however, is that Krejci made the trip to California and is expected back in the lineup soon. The bad news for Krejci is that he appears to have lost winger David Pastrnak, who is back on a line with Patrice Bergeron.
3. Nick Bonino, C, Predators (returning from a lower-body injury)
The former Penguins center did not face his former team last week but should be good to go very soon. Bonino, who has missed Nashville's last 11 games, is now the team's No. 3 center (following the recent acquisition of Kyle Turris from Ottawa). Therefore, Bonino may see a little less ice time moving forward. The 29-year-old is no longer a viable fantasy option in standard leagues, especially because of his propensity to block shots.
4. Travis Zajac, C, Devils (returning from pectoral injuries)
Another player who seems on the verge of returning to game action is the veteran Devil, who is coming back from August surgery to repair his pectoral muscles. Once Zajac returns to the New Jersey lineup, one of the club's other centers will either have to sit out or switch to the wing position (which is something Pavel Zacha already did recently). Rookie Blake Coleman is the most susceptible forward to lose playing time to Zajac.
5. Anton Slepyshev, RW/LW, Oilers (groin injury, IR)
The energetic Russian winger attempted to play through his painful groin issue recently, but was not very successful. So, the club placed Slepyshev on Injured Reserve with the hope he can heal properly. With both Slepyshev and Drake Caggiula currently sidelined with injury, and rookie Kailer Yamamoto back in the WHL, Finnish prospect Jesse Puljujarvi has received another call-up from the AHL to provide secondary scoring.
6. Ryan Miller, G, Ducks (lower-body injury, day to day)
It appears no one in Anaheim has been able to avoid the injury bug (not even the veteran backup goaltender). Miller looked primed to receive several starts last week in place John Gibson (concussion), but instead went down himself. Meanwhile, Gibson returned last week and will now likely receive the majority of the starts while Miller is absent. This would have been a great opportunity for Miller to attempt to unseat Gibson.
7. Anthony Beauvillier, W/C, Islanders (leg injury, day to day)
Beauvillier, one of the Islanders' bright sophomores, has been forced to the sidelines due to injury (which has meant a second chance of sorts for fellow second-year forward Joshua Ho-Sang). The latter had been banished to the AHL last month but is now back with the big club on an emergency basis. That might not give Ho-Sang a lot of time to produce the way the team wants, so he needs to bury every chance he gets this week.
8. Patrik Nemeth, D, Avalanche (undisclosed, IR)
The former Dallas Stars defenseman, who was claimed off waivers in October, was becoming Tyson Barrie's regular partner before going down to injury. Now, Nemeth's absence has given newcomer Samuel Girard another chance to prove he should remain in the NHL this season (rather than be sent back to the QMJHL). Girard and Barrie are currently playing together, though expect Nemeth to reclaim his spot when healthy.
9. Al Montoya, G, Canadiens (concussion, out indefinitely)
With Carey Price injured, Montoya had a golden opportunity to see plenty of action in the coming weeks. Instead, he struggled in his early appearances and then went down to injury--opening the door for rookie Charlie Lindgren to take over the starting job (for the time being). Lindgren seems to have no intention of returning to the AHL, as he has so far played brilliantly in absence of Montreal's top two goaltenders. Can it continue?
10. Lee Stempniak, RW, Hurricanes (upper-body injury, IR)
This is a strange one, as Stempniak was recently taken off Injured Reserve and sent down to the AHL on a conditioning stint. While down on the farm, the veteran winger suffered an upper-body injury that may be related to his previous ailment. Therefore, Stempniak is once again sidelined indefinitely. It is a tough break for the vet, but young Brock McGinn is making the most of his opportunity and seems to have found a home on Line 2.